The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered steps in Myanmar (formerly Burma) to prevent the persecution of Rohingya Muslims.
The decision comes despite Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader, defending her country last month against the allegations in person.
Thousands of Rohingya have died and over 700,000 have fled to Bangladesh during a 2017 military crackdown.
UN investigators have cautioned against recurrence of genocidal acts.
The ICJ petition, lodged by The Gambia’s African Muslim-majority nation, called for immediate action to be taken against the Myanmar military until a more thorough investigation could be launched.
Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist state, has always focused on combating an insurgent threat in the Rakhine state through its military campaign.
Ms Suu Kyi described violence as a “global armed conflict” caused by militant Rohingya attacks on government security posts in her defense speech at the court in The Hague.
On Thursday the panel of 17 judges at the ICJ unanimously voted to order Myanmar to take “all steps within its control” to prevent genocide, which they said the Rohingya remained at serious risk.
These include avoiding violence, and “causing severe physical or mental damage” to group members, as well as preserving evidence of possible genocide that has already taken place.
Presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said that, within four months, Myanmar should report back on how it implemented the ruling.